The first trailer for Thor 2 features all manner of apocalyptic stuff. You can't help wondering why Thor doesn't just call his teammates in the Avengers — so we asked Marvel's Kevin Feige how they plan to address this in their post-Avengers movies. Here's what he told us.
We spoke to Feige at the junket for Iron Man 3, and we'll have more of our conversation with Feige and director Shane Black next week.
Isn’t there a problem in these individual movies of having these sort of global threats without anyone assuming that what you would do is call the Avengers rather than one person?
Kevin Feige: That’s a new issue, right? That’s a new problem of Phase II, and the way we treat it in this movie and a lot of the movies is not dissimilar to how they treat it in the comics. Which is to say they’re either busy somewhere else — we know Thor is on another planet. But also, having the events happen very quickly in a way that there wasn’t time for the other characters or entities to get involved. And Shane has said recently, you know without giving too much away, the element of the government that would have reached out to S.H.I.E.L.D. was in on the plan, so they kept that at bay. And Tony tells us very specifically in a message he leaves for Pepper, I’m basically going off the grid, I’m going off the radar to try and figure this out on the down low, which is why he doesn’t pick up a phone and call a helicarrier to fly over and help him out.
So, Iron Man 3 has a lot of great ties to other movies in the Marvel universe. But it doesn't do much to sow the seeds for the next batch of movies that come after it. Was that a conscious choice?
It was. Our plan was always, even before we started filming The Avengers, was post-Avengers to focus on the individual characters. To surprise the movie-going public with the notion of individual movies they could connect to another big movie, and then surprise them again by separating them and making them just as interesting when they’re apart again. And Iron Man 3 is obviously the first of the post-Avengers movies. And I think you can see with the unique voice of Shane Black behind it, it sort of reestablishes the character of Tony Stark.
Marvel's Phase One movies were mostly the first films for their characters. But Phase Two is going to have a lot more sequels. What did you learn from Iron Man 2 and 3 that you can apply to these other sequels?
I’ve been involved in a lot of sequels — some that have been great, [including] Spider-Man 2 and X-Men 2, and I think Iron Man 3, and some not so great. So, you know, basically I’ve found that mixing it up, that changing people’s expectations and sort of turning things on their head is most fruitful, is the unexpected is the most exciting for people.
And I think Iron Man 3 is very unexpected, and what we’re doing in the next Thor film and in particular the next Captain America film [are as well]. They’re almost different genres then their predecessor movies. Which I think, again, just as unusual and unique as it was to have three or four different tent pole movies that could combine into a single tent pole movie [i.e. The Avengers].
Phase II is about changing even the genre that the prior movies were. So, there are elements of detective, technological thriller in Iron Man 3. I've already described publicly the next Captain America film as inspired by political thrillers of the seventies. Um, Guardians of the Galaxy is a whole other unique film and a totally new thing for us, so always putting that spin on it is what’s required.
Well, for Guardians of the Galaxy, that’s a movie that’s going to have a fair amount of CGI, with the alien creatures in space. And how do you prevent that from going the Green Lantern route?
Well the same way, Iron Man 3 has as much CG as any movie we’ve ever made, and I hope it doesn’t feel like Green Lantern. And it’s all about the aesthetic you go for and already we have an art department as impressive as any art department I’ve ever seen in London on Guardians. And it’s, you know, designing things and believing that they’re real when part of the team’s made up of a raccoon and a tree.
Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3.